I’ve looked at dozens and dozens and dozens of kids’ apps in recent months.
Many? Kinda cool.
A handful? Pretty rough around the edges.
Some? Pretty darn fabulous and really, really well done.
Most recently, I’ve checked out a really fab app–one worth your time and your kids’ precious screen time. It’s a free app but within the app is a store where you purchase pieces or pick up some freebies or features.
It’s called BelugaBloo, and though the name is a little crazy (pronounce it just as you’d think, silly!), the interactive books, music, and games are well done, and I’m thrilled to let you on board.
Also pretty darn fabulous and really, really cool is that the great people of BelugaBloo have offered to give away one iPad mini with a handful of BelugaBloo books and games to one lucky teachmama.com reader. Believe it!
the BelugaBloo bookshelf
They want you to be able to have these fabulous and really, really well done interactive books, music, and games at your fingertips. Woot.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Fab Kids’ App–Interactive Books, Music, & More (& iPad mini giveaway!): BelugaBloo has over 60 years experience in the children’s book industry, and their focus with their apps is to make children’s reading fun and enlightening.
They work with a large network of publishers, choose the best texts, and then create an instructive and engaging platform for kiddos to read, learn, and enjoy the reading process, and what I love most about their products is the wide range of rich story choices and the absolutely gorgeous visuals.
We had a chance to try out several of their many interactive books, music, and games. Ranked in our top faves were:
A is for Apple: before the swipe. . .
. . . and after.
- A is for Apple: Very cute, brightly-illustrated alphabetical slider book. A is for Apple will teach children to recognize their ABC’s with bright pictures, fun shiny sliding cards and the anticipation of what is hiding behind the panels. Lots of focus on letters, words, and picture recognition. Though Cora’s on the older side for it, I think it’d be great for tinier ones.
Loved. This. One.
- The Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare: An updated version of the children’s classic, this modern take features a hip and happy hare and a cool country tortoise. Kids will love to move and groove with this dynamic duo as they hop and pop towards the finish line in this silly retelling of the classic tale. Rich illustrations and fun rhyming text with strong morals remaining at the heart of the story make this a great read for kids.
Really very cute–clear and so fun.
- Lullaby Piano: Lullaby Piano is totally Cora’s fave. It’s interactive and lets parents–or caregivers–sing along with their kids while kids learn how to play their favorite baby songs on a digital keyboard. Seriously cute animated characters combined with high quality sounds make this a really incredible piece. Simple but not too simple; complex enough to keep kids engaged and challenged.
Drip Drops before the colors. . .
. . . and after.
- The Drip Drops Coloring Party: Maddy listened to this over and over and then she declared that she wanted to speak with an English accent like the girl reading the story. This is considered one of the most interactive and unique coloring apps that BelugaBloo offers. The Drip Drops Coloring Party focus is simply the colors of the rainbow, and it’s more than just a story–kiddos put together puzzles, match colors, create tunes on a keyboard, connect dots in number sequence, and much, much more! Cool.
- The Crossing of the Red Sea & The Creation story: Both are re-tellings of the classic Bible tales, and they’re absolutely gorgeous. They’re both beautifully illustrated and include interactive features that allow kids to read with a narrator and play interactive games that relate to the story. A great and easy way to introduce your children to one of the world’s most timeless tales. I’m always a fan of Bible stories for kids–the more places they can get these important lessons, the better. And awesome when it’s an app.
- Discovery Channel™ Extreme World: Created in association with Discovery Channel™, this book (and the whole series, I imagine) is packed with facts, fabulous graphics, and really engaging text. Though some of it can be a little gory (Maddy and Owen love it!) it is a favorite. I’m hoping that the others will be available for download shortly.
We liked really all that we tried, but these were our favorites.
Definitely worth checking out, as the literacy focus is clear here. A few things I liked, in general, about the BelugaBloo apps:
- the app is available on both Google Play and iTunes store;
- the ‘Read by Myself’ / ‘Read to Me’ / ‘Autoplay’ options for nearly all books;
- the app is available in Spanish and Chinese!;
- the clear fonts, large and easy-to-read for texts directed at younger readers;
- the interactive nature of all texts;
- the reading voices–fluent, clear, and easy to listen to;
- the colors–bright, vivid, and eye-catching;
- the specific level-based differences–early readers were more simple; more advanced text were more complex;
- books are being added each day–so the choices will continue to grow and evolve.
Now, enough from me.
Let’s get to how YOU can bring all of this fun home to your young readers!
GIVEAWAY: your OWN iPad mini & BelugaBloo bundle of 5 books & games!
Do you want to win your OWN iPad mini & BelugaBloo bundle of 5 books & games?! Ummm. . . of COURSE you do!
Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to throw your name in the hat:
By entering this super-fab giveaway, you are demonstrating your understanding of and compliance with the Official Sweepstakes Rules.
This giveaway ends Friday, March 15, 2013 at midnight ET. Winner will be chosen by ‘Rafflecopter’ and will be notified on or around 3/15/13. Winner must respond within three (3) days of notification or forfeit the prize, in which case an alternate winner will be selected. All Official Sweepstakes Rules apply.
fyi: I was compensated for my time, effort, energy, and expert opinion in regard to the above products.
As always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator–and, of course, my three little digital kids and their iPad-happy hands.